Life sometimes takes an unexpected turn doesn’t it? It certainly did on Friday November 20th when I found myself attending a digital awards event ‘in’ Hull.
My connection with Hull came about after I reconnected with Charles Cracknell, an alumni of King Alfred’s College (now the University of Winchester). Charles commissioned me to copy-edit the Hull Global Entrepreneurship Week brochure and it’s become an annual project. I have got to know many names of the businesses, schools and individuals who get involved in GEW each year.
When lockdown hit, a lot of the young entrepreneurs were excluded from financial help as they’d not been in business long enough. A dangerous oversight I think. Charles wasn’t going to sit back and do nothing so he asked business people to help out as a mentors. I agreed to get involved. And so I was introduced to Blush Cleaning, and the vivacious Alex and Nicole. Over the months I’ve given them support with grant applications, Covid-19 safety protocols and advice for Facebook posting (they’re actually really good at it!).
I knew from my copy-editing that GEW always had an awards event, the Hull Youth Enterprise Awards, so I was rather surprised – and pleased – to be included on a shortlist as a Partner. I was even more pleased that Blush Cleaning was a finalist for Young Entrepreneur of the Year.
For the event, I duly looked out a smart top, although I will admit to wearing fluffy socks. I poured myself a glass of fizz. I saw and heard lots of people I’ve come across in the brochure copy year after year – it was fantastic to put faces to names. And then the awards were announced.
I was thrilled when Alex and Nicole were announced as winners of The Sheila Waudby Young Entrepreneur of the Year. I didn’t win my category, but then I wasn’t expecting to. But then came a category I wasn’t aware of, with special Awards presented for outstanding service to enterprising young people. Announcing the John Cracknell Youth Enterprise Volunteer Mentor Award, the presenter described the winner as living in Devon… I realised it was me! I think I gave a little acceptance speech, I can’t remember as I was in shock. And maybe on my fourth glass of fizz!
So thank you to the lovely people of Hull GEW and the John Cracknell team. I love the fact that I’m here in the deepest South West supporting young entrepreneurs in the North East. When things settle down I’ll be paying a visit to meet Blush Cleaning face to face!